The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Salvation Army seeks volunteers


November 21, 2018

David Grieder

From left, Pam Norton smiles on with Salvation Army representatives Miguel Ibarra and Eric Schoen during a turkey and cash drive Tuesday afternoon in Clovis.

CLOVIS - Hark, for bell and kettle season is nigh upon us.

Clovis' Salvation Army office is recruiting volunteers to take part in its iconic seasonal fundraiser, ringing the bell and collecting donations in a kettle container outside local businesses between Friday and Christmas Eve.

Organizers are hoping the community will turn out with bells on, and they already have 40 or 50 volunteers enlisted from among supporting community entities. You may see them any time from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday thru Saturday at Albertsons, Hobby Lobby, JC Penney, Lowe's (both the supermarket and the home improvement store), S & S Supermarket, Big Lots or Wal-Mart in Clovis, or at Wal-Mart and Farmer's Country Market in Portales.

Salvation Army Lt. Miguel Ibarra said the goal is $65,000 for the organization's largest fundraiser of the year. Funds raised in the next month will go toward other local efforts through the year, including summer camps, ministry, food pantry, back to school supplies and educational programs.

The group also collected turkeys in exchange for t-shirts outside a grocery store parking lot on Tuesday, and Ibarra said there were already 150 families registered for its Christmas meal program.

Part of the push for volunteers is in the interest of putting as much of the upcoming fundraising toward those programs, Ibarra told The News.

"We definitely need a whole lot of volunteers. The idea is to collect the most funds that we can," he said. "Plan A is to run with the volunteers, but we are also getting prepared just in case we have to hire people."

Volunteers will sign some paperwork and attend a brief training before getting posted to a location with a bell, an apron and a kettle. The office does not have a Santa Claus getup to loan out, but participants will be welcome to dress up on their own powers.

The main requirement to help is a joyful and respectful attitude for a good cause.

"We're just offering a small training, how to ring the bell, how to approach the community," Ibarra said. "Always with a smile, being happy and being joyful."

Other businesses can also support the effort through Salvation Army's "adopt-a-kettle" program. For volunteers, Ibarra recommended signing up with a group of friends and taking turns at a post.

Those wondering if now is the time for some civic engagement might recall the famous words of the 17th-century metaphysical poet John Donne: "...send not to know / for whom the bell tolls / it tolls for thee."


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